IPhone 5 Release Rumors Begin--Again!
There is a Weird Al song from 1996 called "Everything You Know Is Wrong" that pretty well sums up all of the predictions about the iPhone 5: Every rumor about the iPhone 5--every design leak, every release rumor, every breathless Wall Street note to investors about new form factors and tech specs and thinner, lighter profiles--all of it was wrong.
Nobody knew, but everyone cared. And now that the new iPhone 4S has been announced, the biggest question seems to be not "Will Apple be able to make enough of these things to get me one in time for Christmas?" but rather "So when is Apple going to announce the iPhone 5?"
Consumers looking to upgrade their iPhones from the 3G or 3GS to a newer model, or users of other smartphones who were waiting for the iPhone 5 to switch over to Apple, are asking themselves: Should I bite the bullet with this iPhone 4S thing, or is it worth waiting for the iPhone 5?
And so it is with hesitation that we report the iPhone 5 rumors have begun (again). Following the disappointment of analysts, Tweeters and case-makers alike at the appearance of only the iPhone 4S, the tech punditry class has started up the iPhone 5 prognostication.
CNET, for starters, interviewed the president of Forward Concepts, a wireless chip market research firm, who said that Apple was "saving iPhone 5 for the LTE version [which] won't be coming out until next spring." Anand Shimpi, of respected tech site AnandTech, meanwhile, gives a technical analysis of why Apple may have held off on a thinner device and concludes that buyers should "check back in Q2/Q3 2012" for the iPhone 5, which he also believes will be a 4G LTE device.
The reality is that the iPhone 5 is coming at some point in the future, but no one knows for sure when it is coming. Traditionally, Apple has launched its new iPhones in June; this was the first year ever that Apple did not. (iPhone: June 2007; iPhone 3G: June 2008; iPhone 3GS: June 2009; iPhone 4: June 2010; iPhone 4S: October 2011). It might very well be that Apple gets back onto the June release track next summer; or, it might be that they don't release a new iPhone until 2013. Again, everyone cares, but nobody knows.
So what to do until then? Well, from covering the week in Apple rumors every Sunday for the past few months, it seems fairly clear who has the most reliable sources at Apple: The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and John Paczkowski of the Wall Street Journal's tech blog All Things Digital. The others? Well, you can check Gawker's fascinating iPhone 5 "failboard" for the tech sites that missed out or mis-prognosticated, which doesn't even mention the investment banks like JP Morgan, Wedbush and Deutsche Bank that incorrectly advised investors that two new iPhones, including an iPhone 5, would be released in the autumn.
You can also feel free to create your own ridiculous iPhone 5 rumors using the (still valid!) template I created during the run-up to the Apple media event. Your totally fictional, unsubstantiated fabrication could prove just as valid as many of this summer's predictions.
Apple has proven that they run a very tight ship, and that accurate leaks and information are incredibly hard to come by. So until Tim Cook or an Apple spokesperson actually announces another "Let's Talk iPhone" event: Hold tight. The new iPhone comes out on October 14, and it is called the iPhone 4S. Get used to it.
13 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BOUT THE iPHONE 4S:
Apple debuted the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/04/siri-apple-iphone-4s-voice-personal-assistant_n_994605.html?1317758678" target="_hplink">Siri virtual assistant</a>, a voice-controlled interface designed exclusively for the iPhone 4S. Siri lets the user schedule calendar events and reminders, set alarms, find information about local businesses--just by asking. The hands-free system even talks back to you. <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/nickbilton/status/121288597952405504" target="_hplink">The New York Times's Nick Bilton</a> notes that it sounds like "A female Hal who had too many vodka tonics at the bar." <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/04/apple-reveals-siri-voice-interface-the-intelligent-assistant/" target="_hplink">According to TechCrunch</a>, "Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
The iPhone 4S is built around Apple's dual-core A5 processor, which also powers the iPad 2. <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">Apple claims that this new chip</a> "delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
Better Download Speeds
Although the new iPhone isn't a 4G device, Apple claims that it can rival high-speed devices. <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5846504/" target="_hplink">Writes Gizmodo</a>, "the new iPhone 4S runs on faster HSPA+ networks. That means that your telephone will download stuff faster from the Internet. Before it was up to 7.2 Megabits-per-second downloads." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
New Operating System
Right out of the box, the new iPhone will run Apple's upgraded operating system, iOS 5. Apple says the new OS introduces over 200 new features, such as push notifications to all mobile devices, wireless upgrades, improved mobile browsing via Apple's Safari app, location-aware reminders, a webcam shortcut that's accessible from the lock screen, the ability to edit photos and many others. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
More Carrier Choices
In addition to availability through AT&T and Verizon, the iPhone 4S will be offered by a new carrier: Sprint. "[T]he specs for Sprint's version perfectly match the Verizon model -- both have an EVDO radio for 3G within the US, and a GSM one for service outside the country," <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/04/sprint-iphone-officially-announced-on-sale-october-14/" target="_hplink">Engadget writes</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
Apple's latest iPhone is a "world phone," which means users can use it to place calls and surf the web on different networks, an ideal feature for jet-setters and one that previous iPhones didn't offer. <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">From Apple's official press release:</a> <blockquote>Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. iPhone 4S now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps and iPhone 4S is a world phone, so both CDMA and GSM customers can now roam internationally on GSM networks.</blockquote> <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
In the United States, customers can pick up a 16GB iPhone 4S for $199, a 32GB model for $299 and a beefy 64GB model for $399. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
<a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S begin on October 7</a>. The device will hit shelves in the U.S. on October 14. Consumers around the world will have to wait until December 2011, when the handset will make its way to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">according to Apple</a>. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
Longer Battery Life
Apple promises that the faster A5 processor won't degrade battery life but will actually allow the iPhone 4S to use energy more efficiently than the iPhone 4. Indeed, the company promises up to 8 hours of battery life when placing calls via 3G. "If you set your phone to 2G, you will get 14 hours of talk time," <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5846504/" target="_hplink">writes Gizmodo</a>. "3G web browsing will give you six hours of battery life, while Wi-Fi access runs up to nine hours." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
The new iPhone also comes with a camera upgrade. The device's rear-facing webcam has been bumped up from 5 megapixels up to 8 megapixels and will offer 1080p HD video recording. Images captured on the iPhone 4S will feature over 60 percent more pixels than on the previous handset, <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/04/apple-roundup-apple-throws-the-press-for-a-loop-with-iphone-4s-but-no-iphone-5/" target="_hplink">that's a resolution of 3264 x 2448</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
A feature of iOS 5, <a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/10/04/airplay-mirroring-comes-to-iphone-4s/" target="_hplink">Airplay Mirroring</a> allows the iPhone sync wirelessly to an Apple TV, letting the user watch videos or view photos from their phone on the big screen. <em>Images courtesy of Getty.</em>
The new iPhone looks just like its predecessor, <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html" target="_hplink">measuring</a> 4.5 inches high, 2.31 wide and 0.37 inches thick, <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html" target="_hplink">according to Apple's measurements</a>. The 4S will weigh 4.9 ounces, just a hair heavier than its predecessor, which weighed 4.8 ounces. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
The new iPhone will be available in white as well as black. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
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